Big soy companies pledge not to source from recently deforested Amazon

Now for some Amazon news that won’t make you want to slit your wrists: Soy producers operating in Brazil — including U.S. agribiz giants Cargill and Archer Daniels Midland — announced yesterday that they will put a two-year stop to buying soybeans grown in recently deforested areas of the Amazon. They also said they won’t buy soybeans from plantations that use slave labor. During the moratorium, producers will work with the Brazilian government and non-governmental organizations to develop new rules for operating in the Amazon region. An in-depth Greenpeace investigation published earlier this year found that many businesses sourced their soy from illegal Amazon plantations. Unnerved by the report, top European supermarkets, food manufacturers, and fast-food chains began pushing soy producers to clean up their act, and the soy companies relented. Greenpeace applauded the moratorium as a good first step, but said better long-term systems for preserving the Amazon need to be put in place.